January Budget Update Summary
Financially, January 2017 was a good month. In terms of new clients, I have some new bites but no catch yet. Almost 100% of new potential clients are now results of (1) networking, (2) inquiry from work (ie go do interview then the interviewee indicated interest), and (3) this website via my ‘Hire Me’ page.
One familiar feeling throughout January was the feeling of being stagnant, which sucks. I’m at that point where I think I’ve optimised all I could, and I have trouble identifying what else I can do to be better. Even though there were more time to do more fun stuff, I can’t help feeling like I’m wasting time. Yes, I know relax time is important, but the thing is, work is relaxing and enjoyable for me, so I actually feel anxious when I’m not working.
Thinking of adding a skill. A Reddit post I read recently talked about ‘skill-layering’, and how it’s the key to be more employable (and profitable). For example, I know I layer two skills somewhat okay: writing + financial literacy. Other examples of skill-layering includes things like translation + engineering and psychology + advertising. According to the author and the replies, the more the skills, the more you can ‘mix and match’ them, which makes you a lot more desirable as an employee.
So my target in February is to identify a new skill and start learning it. Thankfully Coursera and the internet in general is great as a learning tool. Do you have any particular skills to recommend? Need suggestions lah
Yay of the month:
- Went to Langkawi for a short weekend trip. It was fun, and a good start to the year. I can’t wait to travel more.
- I’m exercising a lot more regularly now. Many articles I read about successful people credited this as one of the catalysts contributing to their continuous success. I don’t particularly like exercising, but it’s getting easier to will myself to do them anyway. Bonus: clothes now fit better 😀
- My cats are destroying the new couch, so I bought them a scratch post for RM75.91. It works like 80% of the time, but I’ll take what I can get.
- Both Uber and Grab had ridesharing promotions and I saved a lot of money using them, at least RM50. I got 50% off Uber rides code (up to RM10) and second-ride-for-free from Grab (up to RM8 I think). Note: both promotions expired.
- Found Rayban knockoffs that I absolutely love for RM15. Bought 2, should last me a while!
- Had really good conversations about insurance. After my article about insurance was published, some readers contacted me and offered more info. I’ve updated the article with those info, so go read it, especially if you’re planning to buy insurance soon!
- Finally had to let go of 3 pairs of well-loved shoes. 2 flats, one wedge. It was starting to look unprofessional to wear them, plus they were loose. Because my motto when it comes to shoes is ‘Use until cannot use, then only can replace’, I had permission from myself to go shoe-shopping. I bought a pair of black flats for RM39, and a pair of work shoes for ~RM15 or so (used up RM100 AEON voucher redeemed from Maybank TreatPoints). Aside from this, I have two flip-flops, two sandals and one sports shoes. One of the sandals are getting loose, so that might need replacing soon. Shoe people, any particular brands to suggest? I’d love to get good quality shoes so they’ll last longer.
Nay of the month:
- My phone, a 7-months-old Lenovo K4 Vibe, fell and the screen cracked. Touchscreen got wonky. Replaced the touchscreen for RM380, but it was still laggy. I rely on my phone a lot for work, so I decided to buy a new one – got a Xioumi Redmi Note 4 for RM924 (inclusive of casing). Thank goodness for emergency savings. Switching phones was a major pain in the ass, so take care of your phones y’all.
- Groceries were very high. Sure, I stocked up on a lot of non-perishables that’ll last months, but I have to be careful for next month onward.
- I paid my parents’ electric bill. It was RM1500 for two months. Sure, they use a lot of aircon (1-3 aircons runs every day and night), but I still want to ask – is this amount even normal? Do we have to get them checked? What would suck that kind of energy? If you have insight, please comment.
- I had a major food binge. Ate a whole pizza by myself. Felt horrible. That hasn’t happened in a while. It was triggered by stress (during the phone incident) and Pizza Hut’s RM10 for medium pizza offer. Gosh.
- I had a massage, and it was good, but now I’m stuck with a weird backache. It’s been about a week – should I be worried?
Things to Look Forward to:
- I want to switch back my mobile postpaid plan to prepaid. Made the comparison and seems like I can save more money that way. Plus, I can get cashback on prepaid topups via Lazada and 11thStreet, and credit card cashback too. Have to plan a trip to one of the centres.
- Need to pay zakat. This year, instead of giving my zakat to Lembaga Zakat Selangor, I want to give to Islamic Relief Malaysia instead. I’ve been annoyed at Islamic religious authorities in Malaysia for a while, and it feels good to be able to contribute to another organisation.
- Meeting up with friends 🙂
- Getting more work, so I have better things to do with my time instead of dicking around in Reddit.
- Eating vegetarian. Too much meat consumption lately.
To read about my past monthly budget update, click here.